A REPORT by the Henry Jackson Society, published yesterday, named Saudi Arabia as the main foreign promoter of Islamic extremism in Britain, stating that there is a ‘clear and growing link’ between funding from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and the growth of jihadist terrorist groups in the country.
What makes this report even more damning is the fact that the Society, an independent think-tank based in London, is no ‘leftist’ bunch of apologists for Syria or Russia but is a right-wing organisation that advocates the ‘robust spreading of liberal democracy, the rule of law and the market economy’. Even they are shocked at the determination of the British government and the Tory party to ally themselves to the biggest funder of terrorism in the world, and its chief paymaster in the UK.
The report claims that ‘Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multimillion-dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West.’
This funding in Britain has taken the form of funding institutions that have played host to extremist preachers and the report notes that a ‘number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology’.
The author of the report, Tom Wilson, said: ‘While countries from across the Gulf and Iran have been guilty of advancing extremism, Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly at the top of the list,’ adding: ‘Research indicates that some Saudi individuals and foundations have been heavily involved in exporting an illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology. So it is ironic, to say the least, that Saudi Arabia is singling out Qatar for links to extremism when it has patently failed to get its own house in order.’
In 2007, Saudi Arabia was estimated to be spending at least £1.5 billion a year on promoting Wahhabism worldwide. By 2015 this figure had doubled to over £3 billion, exporting what the report calls the ‘illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology’ responsible for the radicalisation of young people across the world.
The extreme Wahhabi ideology, with its sectarian hatred of all forms of Islam that do not conform to its rigid doctrine, has been the guiding ideology of ISIS, al-Qaeda and many of the individuals responsible for the terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of innocent men, women and children in the recent attacks in Britain.
The report calls for the Tory government to set up a public inquiry into all Gulf funding sources but in fact an inquiry already exists on Saudi involvement in terrorist funding in the UK.
A government inquiry was commissioned back in 2015 by the then coalition government. It was commissioned at the behest of the Lib/Dem partners in return for their support for the illegal British airstrikes against Syria aimed at bolstering the terrorist groups like ISIS that the Tories claim to be at war with.
This report has been on Theresa May’s desk for months with the Tories refusing to publish it due to the ‘sensitive nature’ of its findings.
What is sensitive is that it exposes the role of Saudi Arabia at a time when the Saudi monarchy is the biggest customer for UK arms sales – worth £4.1 billion since 2015.
Also the Saudis have billions invested in the UK especially in the lucrative London property market.
All this dirty bloodstained money must be protected even if it means covering up Saudi involvement in terrorism.
While Russia, Syria and Iran, who are in the front line of the fight against ISIS and jihadist terrorism, are vilified by the UK and US governments, the real sponsors of terrorism internationally are protected and courted for their wealth and hailed as allies in the fight against Syria and Iran.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has called for an immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
This does not go far enough. Immediately the working class must demand the breaking off of all relationships with the Saudis, the closure of their embassy and the expropriation of all Saudi assets in the country.
To carry these demands out means organising to kick out the Tories and going forward to a workers government that will support, both diplomatically and practically, Syria, Iran and the Palestinians in their fight to end Saudi-inspired terrorism.